manager may not be available and hence any employee will have to interact with the client based on opportunity. In such a circumstance, the transparency afforded by CRM enables ease of understanding of the client’s requirements and attuning to them. The best CRM package as per management experts is the e mail. Observation of each package on line enables the customers to instantly respond to it. Thus the larger companies are already taking the complete supply chain on line and are buying on line.
This provides an ability to sell internationally as also reach all levels of customers from the individual to the large sized firm. At times it is difficult as also uneconomical to attend to the small customers through a direct sales call, which is resolved through presence on the internet. With clients increasingly using the internet for purchase of goods, it is becoming all the more significant to place the wares on the World Wide Web. Integration between companies is also happening on the web at a much faster scale than ever thereby providing companies greater opportunities for growth in a diverse geographic area.
The use of customers in China of the internet and the presence of Chinese companies on web would provide us a good overview of the effective use of this process for enhancing CRM. These important lessons from a cross functional area which was traditionally thought to be averse to being exploited by the IT revolution is seen to be impacted by the introduction of the concept of CRM. CRM in fact is seen to integrate IT into business much more widely and effectively than any other area of business. The process of building and guiding a CRM suite is a tedious one.
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This has been covered adequately by Judith Kincaid who sees CRM as a managerial as well as technical challenge. (Kincaid, 2002). The author reviews strategy development, infra structure and tools of the trade or the process of analyzing the customer information and measuring organizational results. The author also addresses the needs for realistic touch points such as web, e-mail, call centers and metrics. Issues covered also include translating CRM objectives into organizational changes, designing integrated customer data bases and infrastructure.
It enables understanding the critical aspects of the technical and the management spheres. Detailed templates have been developed and realistic strategic plans observed. Knowledge Based CRM. An advanced phase in CRM is knowledge based client relationship particularly for high value clients. A study of literature on this subject is thus relevant. Knowledge based client relationship is a powerful concept which enables lasting valuable relationships with clients. Knowledge is effectively utilized to catalyze client relationships.
This has been the theme of Dawson (2005) who focuses on Knowledge Based Client Relationships. There are a number of examples quoted by the author to support this premise. The importance of knowledge is particularly relevant in the case of firms which are operating in the purely knowledge based activities such as law firms, chartered accountancy and software training. The knowledge based client relationship is a powerful concept which needs to be adopted by firms who are keen to expand their business.
The model can be applied for all types of business at various levels as it employs varied techniques in assessments such as heuristics and intelligent choice processes to build strategic relationships. The large number of collaborative technologies available can be leveraged along with communication channels to advantage. The case studies provide a deep insight into client building relationships across a wide spectrum of industries. (Dawson, 2005). Key Issues and Best Practices In CRM. While implementing CRM, certain key issues and best practices can provide further guidance some of which have been discussed as given below:-
Creating customer centric culture is the prime requirement as an organization will only succeed if every employee therein is committed to the customer and no amount of technology will enable avoidance of this critical criterion. The issues involved in customer centric culture include an atmosphere of concern, trust and cooperation within to enable devotion of the complete energies to the client. There is a need to understand the customer fully. For this listening to the customer is more important than talking to him. This will enable understanding the customers needs fully.
Solutions Offered to be Customer Centric. This will necessitate creating customized solutions. Tracking the current portfolio of products and services of the competitor is another significant area by which a customer centric solution can be derived. These should also ensure value addition. Effective Technology Support. This is not merely establishing the backbone of data and communications link, but also involves incorporating information and communications in the entire functioning of the CRM system integrated with the company’s legacy systems.
The latter too will have to be connected with the CRM as a stand alone CRM will not be able to derive the value added knowledge benefit of the legacy system. This may be an issue which is not practicable easily, but technical solutions and if required additional investments in matching data bases will have to be undertaken. There should also be adequate follow up and elimination of defects which may have arisen need to be rectified at the earliest. Incremental Commitment. This will entail cultivating internal contacts and facilitating closure; this is a delicate process and will have to be conducted with great tact and in a gradual manner.
Developing Long Term Relationship. The need to develop a long term relationship with the customer is well identified; however how it is to be achieved is frequently not understood. The key factor is following up on sales. This will enable establishing a full scale long term interdependent relationship with the customer. CRM activities should also be benchmarked and the returns on investments ensured. Best practice companies continuously measure the return on investment from CRM to manage customer behaviors.
An effective cost per customer is considered by these companies in measuring the impact of the CRM in all its facets, such as:- Account Management Costs. Concepts of new products developed in collaboration. The costs or time saved in new product development. Savings in new account acquisition from referrals by customers. Costs associated with levels of inventory. Co marketing which enables reduced costs which are also measured. Infra structure costs which are also reduced from shared investments. (j) Costs of communications to the customer, customer support, feedback and so on.